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How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

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How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:38 pm

As Obama himself seemed to understand at the outset, the economic devastation he faced was the worst in 80 years. It was far worse, in other words, than anything Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, or Gorge H.W. Bush had to overcome. And because this recession was caused by an unprecedented financial collapse, history shows that it was destined to be longer-lived than most.

Unemployment trends also indicate that it is somewhat unfair to accuse Obama, as his GOP opponents are wont to do, of driving up the jobless rate beyond what it was when he took office. The official recession began in December 2007, more than a year before he became president, and ended in June 2009, some five months into his presidency. But the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator; in November of 2008, the month of Obama's election, it was still only 6.8 percent, though it had slowly climbed from December and it reached a height of 7.8 percent in January, just before Obama was sworn in. Still driven by what began as George W. Bush's recession, it didn't bottom out until nine months into Obama's term, 10.1 percent in October of 2009, and then barely began to decline over the next two years.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/08/how-much-is-obama-really-to-blame-for-the-economy/243598/

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by USA Citizen on Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:37 pm

Obama is to blame for not helping the unemployed get back to work.
Obama is now pushing Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. These agreements promise to take more jobs away from Americans. Obama is the culprit who is guilty of shipping American jobs elsewhere. Obama does not care about unemployed Americans. Obama believes that he can keep campaigning for reelection while Americans go to the poorhouse because of his policies. If you won't blame Obama now, you will blame him later. Free Trade = Loss of American jobs.

"I see Hyundais on American roads. I want to see Chryslers and GMs on Korean roads." - Obama. Read Bud Meyers article and see why this is another killer of American jobs. Why is Obama the enemy of the unemployed? Who is paying Obama to sell out America? Read the article and find out who is lobbying Obama to sell out America. The unemployed don't even have a lobby to counter the machine that is grinding up American jobs and shipping them overseas. Stop the madness! Stop Obama before he kills America!

Friday, May 20, 2011 by Bud Meyers
"Trade Agreement (TAA) Held Hostage for Jobless Benefits"
Big push by massive multi-national corporate conglomerates for "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA)"
http://bud-meyers.blogspot.com/2011/05/trade-agreement-taa-held-hostage-for.html


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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by lendmeflight2 on Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:02 am

The question is "Is Obama to blame for the bad economy", the answer to that is no. He could be doing a lot more progressive things instead of caving all the time.

If you truly know about history you will realize that the economy is in about the same or a little better shape than it was at this time in Reagan's presidency. However, the economy was in much worse shape so it could be argued that Obama has actually done MORE than any other president, especially Reagan, to fix the economy.

But facts don't bother most people's beliefs so I am not sure it matters.

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by Jerry on Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:13 pm

USA Citizen wrote:Obama is to blame for not helping the unemployed get back to work.
Obama is now pushing Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. These agreements promise to take more jobs away from Americans. Obama is the culprit who is guilty of shipping American jobs elsewhere. Obama does not care about unemployed Americans. Obama believes that he can keep campaigning for reelection while Americans go to the poorhouse because of his policies. If you won't blame Obama now, you will blame him later. Free Trade = Loss of American jobs.

"I see Hyundais on American roads. I want to see Chryslers and GMs on Korean roads." - Obama. Read Bud Meyers article and see why this is another killer of American jobs. Why is Obama the enemy of the unemployed? Who is paying Obama to sell out America? Read the article and find out who is lobbying Obama to sell out America. The unemployed don't even have a lobby to counter the machine that is grinding up American jobs and shipping them overseas. Stop the madness! Stop Obama before he kills America!

Friday, May 20, 2011 by Bud Meyers
"Trade Agreement (TAA) Held Hostage for Jobless Benefits"
Big push by massive multi-national corporate conglomerates for "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA)"
http://bud-meyers.blogspot.com/2011/05/trade-agreement-taa-held-hostage-for.html





Obama could get everybody jobs, stop all wars, eliminate the I.R.S., cure cancer, make us all millionaires & you'd still call him a you-know-what...

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:49 pm

Per the Ed show, when Obama was asked by a voter if he would make a statement about what is happening all over the Country to American workers ability to have collective bargaining powers, he said, everyone has to make a sacrifice, or something like that to her. Now, let's see if Congress and the Senate will give up their wonderful benefits and pensions, if the military has to give up their 20 years at half of their wages, then how about the congress, where is the sacrifice. This is the kind of statements that really piss off Obama's voting base, and make us want to find another canidate to run against him. I still cannot figure out what his real agenda is???

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by elvis44102 on Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:59 pm

I am just a "working" person and my wages have steadiliy declined my whole life......
I understand sacrifice but I need to survive until better times when the rich can continue to scim the top off of my wages....

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by exhaustedandtired/1208 on Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:13 pm

DesperateInRI wrote:
As Obama himself seemed to understand at the outset, the economic devastation he faced was the worst in 80 years. It was far worse, in other words, than anything Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, or Gorge H.W. Bush had to overcome. And because this recession was caused by an unprecedented financial collapse, history shows that it was destined to be longer-lived than most.

Unemployment trends also indicate that it is somewhat unfair to accuse Obama, as his GOP opponents are wont to do, of driving up the jobless rate beyond what it was when he took office. The official recession began in December 2007, more than a year before he became president, and ended in June 2009, some five months into his presidency. But the unemployment rate is a lagging indicator; in November of 2008, the month of Obama's election, it was still only 6.8 percent, though it had slowly climbed from December and it reached a height of 7.8 percent in January, just before Obama was sworn in. Still driven by what began as George W. Bush's recession, it didn't bottom out until nine months into Obama's term, 10.1 percent in October of 2009, and then barely began to decline over the next two years.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/08/how-much-is-obama-really-to-blame-for-the-economy/243598/




Ok, This is a point that is off point!! Boo Hoo, Pity, Pity.... You guys cry all this Obama inherited this and its the repubs and da dada da da!!! Haven't you watched lately when he made his speech today that his big speech was this: We need to cut 4 trillion dollars from the budget the next ten years and also we need to cut entitlements in line and also he said " its time to work on jobs!!! Wasn't the debates on the budget issue he told repubs.[ he didn't want to yield] to them saying for every dollar you raise the debt ceiling you need to cut spending equally? And also he (whoop's) he's always said he wants to cut entitlements! Funny sounds like a duck and looks like a duck and SMELLS like a duck! Isn't he catering to the TEA party a little! Saying what they want to hear??? I heard his speech and watched it and he is a repub. but not in values but for votes! Please don't be so Obama two faced, Please!! Unless one is so blind and ignorant they still can't see the light! geeeze!! You guys pity pity obama and yet he is doing it under your nose!!

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:33 pm

I am sure Obama's plan to cut entitlements is much different than what the GOP has in mind.


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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:30 am

The president can only do so much, there's a bunch of teapartiers blocking him from doing anything other than what they want.

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by tristen303 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:17 pm

10% at most since he likes making speeches and then changing his mind and doing the very opposite he spoke about in his speech. The markets and world need a foundation that isn"t always chagning based on who he talks to today or is in front of; he needs to keep a position.

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:52 pm

We need a new political party. Let's call it the "Common Sense" party. /nod

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by truth on Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:21 am

Sick & Tired wrote:I am sure Obama's plan to cut entitlements is much different than what the GOP has in mind.


2X

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by exhaustedandtired/1208 on Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:13 am

Be better off askig how much he isn't the blame for! And he is the biggest tea partier around!

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:35 am

exhaustedandtired/1208 wrote:Be better off askig how much he isn't the blame for! And he is the biggest tea partier around!
surprise

And who is going to do a better job? Michelle Bachman or Rick Perry? BLeep

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by exhaustedandtired/1208 on Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:14 pm

Don't know and neither do you! But if he can screw up so bad why not give someone else a chance! or do you like 8 yrs of hell instead of four! It seems of all the comments from Obama supporters that he has become right winged a little but he is still so great! if thats true then why criticize the repubs!

To asnwer : To be so uneducated and say without fact and proof that the people forerunners for repub. nomination and say they can't do the job. They can bull crap just like Obama. At least we know he is a failure and for one to say all the repubs. can't do the job, well, Thats just a opinion, never know until someone gets in! I'd bet on anyone but obama can do the job! I don't need four more years of nothing!

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:17 pm

There's so much misinformation on this forum, it's sickening.

Misinformation is the tool that keeps those who have vested interests in getting rid of us in office.

These poison people keep getting re-elected because of misinformation and ignorance (and to a lesser extent, religion).

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:20 pm

exhaustedandtired/1208 wrote:Don't know and neither do you! But if he can screw up so bad why not give someone else a chance! or do you like 8 yrs of hell instead of four! It seems of all the comments from Obama supporters that he has become right winged a little but he is still so great! if thats true then why criticize the repubs!

To asnwer : To be so uneducated and say without fact and proof that the people forerunners for repub. nomination and say they can't do the job. They can bull crap just like Obama. At least we know he is a failure and for one to say all the repubs. can't do the job, well, Thats just a opinion, never know until someone gets in! I'd bet on anyone but obama can do the job! I don't need four more years of nothing!
Don't tell me what I know and don't know! I do know that 8 years of the Bush presidency led to this mess and you are expecting miracles from our President. We have gained more jobs in this country since Obama took office than the WHOLE 8 years Bush was president!

Again, we live in a DEMOCRACY! There are 3 BRANCHES of GOVERNMENT! The president cannot do things on his own. I guess the 13% approval rating of the GOP controlled House mean nothing! People are waking up, and in 2012, THEY WILL BE OUT!

As far as Bachman and Perry - they are way too extreme and don't know their azz from their elbow! If I thought for one minute either had a shot at the Presidency, I'd be making my way to the Canadian border now. Listen to some of the things they have come out with for once - maybe you'll want to join me in Canada!

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by steveninspokane on Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:52 pm

People want to dog Bush, but like the OP says, Who is to blame? If Bush was doing a bad job, what does it matter, we approved, didn't we? 64% approval rating in his 3rd year. Therefor, Bush can't take all the blame, 64% of Americans need to step up and take their share as well.

As for Obama, his approval rating is almost half that as Bush's was in the third year of his presidency. As a matter of fact, the only democratic president that achieved a higher approval rating than a republican president was John Kennedy. Therefor, Obama with a only a 40% approval rating, we can clearly see that he and 40% of Americans are to blame.

Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/116479/barack-obama-presidential-job-approval.aspx


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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by TOO OLD TO HIRE IN PA on Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:24 pm

DesperateInRI wrote:
exhaustedandtired/1208 wrote:Don't know and neither do you! But if he can screw up so bad why not give someone else a chance! or do you like 8 yrs of hell instead of four! It seems of all the comments from Obama supporters that he has become right winged a little but he is still so great! if thats true then why criticize the repubs!

To asnwer : To be so uneducated and say without fact and proof that the people forerunners for repub. nomination and say they can't do the job. They can bull crap just like Obama. At least we know he is a failure and for one to say all the repubs. can't do the job, well, Thats just a opinion, never know until someone gets in! I'd bet on anyone but obama can do the job! I don't need four more years of nothing!
Don't tell me what I know and don't know! I do know that 8 years of the Bush presidency led to this mess and you are expecting miracles from our President. We have gained more jobs in this country since Obama took office than the WHOLE 8 years Bush was president!

Again, we live in a DEMOCRACY! There are 3 BRANCHES of GOVERNMENT! The president cannot do things on his own. I guess the 13% approval rating of the GOP controlled House mean nothing! People are waking up, and in 2012, THEY WILL BE OUT!

As far as Bachman and Perry - they are way too extreme and don't know their azz from their elbow! If I thought for one minute either had a shot at the Presidency, I'd be making my way to the Canadian border now. Listen to some of the things they have come out with for once - maybe you'll want to join me in Canada!

Desperate, my husband and I have repeatedly said that we would go to Canada if these dingbats get in. Gee, maybe we will meet in person there! I agree with your post and I posted similar views on here. As for all this panic on SS and Medicare, did it every occur to anyone that making modifications to these policies might involve raising SS payroll taxes for people who make the big money. A person who makes a half million a year only pays SS tax on 106,000 of their income, while the poor slob who earns 50,000 pays it on ALL their income. As for Medicare, they have to regulate the OUTRAGEOUS charges by doctors and hospitals. As for the unemployment situation, I am MAD AS HELL that they are not addressing the problems of the OLDER WORKERS. Many older workers cannot do the jobs they want to create. We need jobs in line with our experience. We are now a minority and becoming extinct!

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by MoInSTL on Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:13 pm

I told myself I would move to Canada if Reagan was elected. Reagan was a liberal compared to the current dingbats.

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by TOO OLD TO HIRE IN PA on Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:23 pm

MoInSTL wrote:I told myself I would move to Canada if Reagan was elected. Reagan was a liberal compared to the current dingbats.

LOL You think Ron Jr. and Patti had anything to do with that? Sure wasn't his son Michael, the other dingbat!

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by WilliamsonAngel on Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:09 am

TOO OLD TO HIRE IN PA wrote:As for Medicare, they have to regulate the OUTRAGEOUS charges by doctors and hospitals.

We need to examine the cost of schooling across the board. There's no reason why someone should need to go hugely into debt to get an education. This is especially true for doctors.

Another thing that could help cut the cost of medical care would be to take a look at malpractice insurance costs and requirements, lower them, and set up some sort of regulation to assure doctors aren't being charged usurious rates for said insurance and slap silly insurers that are trying to overcharge doctors.

We could also slap silly the pharmaceutical industry (and perhaps look at our own regulations/fees/etc charged to them). The name brand version of the medication I take (before it went generic) is 135 dollars per month.

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by lendmeflight2 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:15 am

You have a really good point and this goes to the heart of most of our problems related to the deficit. Corporations rob the government every single day. This is what privatization is doing to our country. The medical industry is the same. Doctors know that they can charge medicare whatever they want for anything they want and it will be paid. This is what is killing medicare. If government ran healthcare then none of this would happen and we could have medicare for everyone.

I saw a famous right wing rock musician on fox a couple years ago talking about government healthcare. This person has only one lung and required special health care. His point was that he liked his doctors and did not want Obama telling him what doctor to use. He went on to say that he might have died if he had government health care. This all may be true. However, the problem with his statement is that the vast majority of people can't afford the kind of private health care that he can. So, with that being said, I would take my government doctor to try and cure my lung condition because I would die for sure as it is because I have no health insurance.

This particularly hits home right now because I discovered that I have this weird small lump on my back that I hope is a cyst. I can't afford to have it looked at to see if it's cancer. Today, I would take my government doctor to tell me if I was going to die or not.

To get back to your point, the drug industry is the new mafia. When the polio vaccine was discovered it was given away for free. If something like that happened today, only the rich would be able to be cured and everyone else would just have to hope they survived until the patent ran out.

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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by exhaustedandtired/1208 on Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:11 pm

DesperateInRI wrote:
exhaustedandtired/1208 wrote:Don't know and neither do you! But if he can screw up so bad why not give someone else a chance! or do you like 8 yrs of hell instead of four! It seems of all the comments from Obama supporters that he has become right winged a little but he is still so great! if thats true then why criticize the repubs!

To asnwer : To be so uneducated and say without fact and proof that the people forerunners for repub. nomination and say they can't do the job. They can bull crap just like Obama. At least we know he is a failure and for one to say all the repubs. can't do the job, well, Thats just a opinion, never know until someone gets in! I'd bet on anyone but obama can do the job! I don't need four more years of nothing!
Don't tell me what I know and don't know! I do know that 8 years of the Bush presidency led to this mess and you are expecting miracles from our President. We have gained more jobs in this country since Obama took office than the WHOLE 8 years Bush was president!

Again, we live in a DEMOCRACY! There are 3 BRANCHES of GOVERNMENT! The president cannot do things on his own. I guess the 13% approval rating of the GOP controlled House mean nothing! People are waking up, and in 2012, THEY WILL BE OUT!





As far as Bachman and Perry - they are way too extreme and don't know their azz from their elbow! If I thought for one minute either had a shot at the Presidency, I'd be making my way to the Canadian border now. Listen to some of the things they have come out with for once - maybe you'll want to join me in Canada!




If you can hold Bush accountable then lets go back to those days Hum! Desp. did you have a job then??? Looks like yes, things fell apart when he left and YES it set up under his watch at the end but where is your leadership and job creation! I know, its everybody else! Always an excuse. Why do we have a president that is defended not with success but excuses why nothing gets done under him! Its everyone else for his failure. If he was a strong and powerful president couldn't he overcome and his success could not be denied? I know its everyone else to blame! He inherited this!!! And he decided to keep his inheritance!


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Re: How Much Is Obama Really to Blame for the Economy?

Post by sbraney on Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:29 pm

because this recession was caused by an unprecedented financial collapse, history shows that it was destined to be longer-lived than most.

So how do the DINO's respond? They use their majority in both chambers to pass a stimulus package full of pork for their handlers, half of which was composed of tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires while corporations were laying off millions - a package that almost exactly matched the one that failed the year before under Bush's cronies. Failed for the taxpayers anyway who picked up their tab. Then "they" worked on "healthcare" legislation that overwhelmingly benefited the unelected industries that participated in it's development, completely ignoring all of the information provided by the day to day commission hearings that were held. Not surprisingly, this legislation did nothing to repeal and solve the most blatant giveaway in the system - big pharma is still allowed to charge whatever it wants to Medicare, an agency that purchases more drugs than the rest of the world!

While both parties kept the unemployed paralyzed with their continual torture over extending unemployment insurance, they did absolutely nothing to repeal the tax break that corporations receive to encourage outsourcing, and did not require any oversight for those H1B and Visa card holders, in fact, they did everything they could to make sure that anything but an American was hired. They helped spread the propaganda that the unemployed are mostly unskilled - below was taken from a speech Obama gave a month ago touting portions of a manufacturing initiative report - both parties suggest that we should include a green card with the diplomas of foreign students to solve our high unemployment:

"Importantly, we need a workforce that includes not only scientists and engineers with advanced degrees, but also factory floor engineers able to oversee and improve complex manufacturing processes and workers able to use sophisticated tools and machinery in factories. Manufacturing firms frequently cite the inability to find an adequate supply of factory engineers and workers as a barrier to locating manufacturing in the U.S.." (Do you think there might just be a correlation here suggesting that engineers, who will be paying off their college debt well into middle age, are frankly unable to afford to work for $12/hour in the mostly non-union factories?)

Gee, so let me see, the worst downturn since the Great Depression - how much is Obama at fault??? I'd say he has everything to do with the plight that we're in, because he and most of "our" representatives are neither democrats nor republicans, but proponents of neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism denotes a particular economic philosophy that currently dominates the world. It is important that all of us understand what neoliberalism is because this economic philosophy effects every aspect of our lives and is linked to nearly every social, economic, and environmental problem we face. Put simply, if you don't understand what neoliberalism is then you will be unable to understand what is happening in the world around you and consequently will be unable to make wise political decisions.

So what is neoliberalism? Wikipedia has an excellent article on neoliberalism that everyone should read, but for our purposes we can distill neoliberalism to a simple definition:

Neoliberalism is a free market economic philosophy that favors the deregulation of markets and industries, the diminution of taxes and tariffs, and the privatization of government functions, passing them over to private business.

Neoliberalism arose at the Chicago School of Economics, spearheaded by the economist Milton Friedman. In governments around the world, the neoliberal revolution has been underway for thirty years or since Reagan and Thatcher, and has been premised on the idea, in Reagan's famous formulation that "government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem." The idea was that:

* Economy is a self-regulating entity that always balances out.
* Government is inefficient and costly.
* Private business is efficient and therefore the best way to solve our problems.
* Wealth trickles down from the wealthiest to the middle class and the poor because businesses create jobs that then puts more money into the economy leading, in turn, to more jobs.

Based on this economic philosophy, we have seen an intense drive to reduce taxes, deregulate markets, and privatize government functions by both political parties. Examples of privatization can be seen in the case of the military, where increasingly military functions are taken over by private corporations like Halliburton, the prison system where prisons are increasingly run by private companies, and more recently in the push to have private businesses take over education, health care, and social security. Massive deregulation has, during this time, taken place in the stock market, the banking system, the real estate industry, as well as in a variety of production industries with respect to environmental controls. We have also seen the lowering of taxes among the wealthiest to historic lows. 40% of the stimulus, for example, consisted of tax cuts for the wealthy.

So what's the problem with neoliberalism? Why should you be concerned about it? One reason is that the hypothesis of neoliberalism, the idea that increases in wealth for the wealthiest translate to increases in wealth for everyone-- "a rising tide lifts all boats" --has failed miserably. First, incomes for the working and middle class largely stagnated for the last thirty years. In short, upward mobility has stalled under neoliberal policies. Put differently, wealth is not trickling down. The reason for this is very simple. On the one hand, private businesses have either automated production or outsourced it to other countries where materials and labor are cheaper. This has had the effect of "disciplining labor" (people are willing to take lower paying jobs with fewer benefits out of fear that their job will be outsourced). Second, private businesses and corporations have increasingly turned to other methods of capital accumulation such as investment in financial capital (where profit is produced through, for example, lending and the interest paid on lending; cf. Enron that was, on paper, an energy company but turned out to be a company largely based on financial capital producing nothing). These techniques of capital accumulation create profit for the businesses but these profits do not trickle down because they do not create jobs.

Second, because wages have largely stagnated, the working and middle class increasingly come to rely on credit to support themselves and their families. Debt levels are at an all time high for working and middle classes. This renders those of us who belong to the working and middle class particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy and joblessness.

Third, neoliberalism leads to policies of austerity with respect to vital government programs in education, health care, and various other services. Why does this occur? Because taxes have been reduced among the corporations and because wages have stagnated among the working and middle class, governments end up facing revenue problems that force them to cut programs. We are repeatedly told that what is good for big business is good for everyone, but it doesn't work out that way. Because big business turns to financial capital to increase profit, the jobs never materialize. The vast majority end up shouldering their tax cuts in the form of cuts to government programs.

Under neoliberalism we have seen a historic rise in inequality between the wealthiest 1 or 2% and everyone else. Moreover, due to the deregulation that takes place in various industries, markets become ever the more prone to crisis (such as the 2008 economic downturn) leading to more joblessness, disciplining of labor, and the blackmailing of governments where public monies are transferred to corporations and banks to keep them afloat. Finally, through the deregulation of markets and industries, our environmental problems intensify and increase without governmental mechanisms to reverse these processes. These environmental problems, of course, threaten the very existence of our civilization as we know it.

In addition to these problems, neoliberal economic policies intensify racial inequalities and the formation of religious fundamentalisms. Minorities are particularly hard hit by these economic policies, experiencing greater debt, greater joblessness, and little possibility of upward mobility. Meanwhile, as joblessness, debt, and hopelessness increases among majority groups, various forms of racism directed at minorities and immigrants intensify as these majoritarian groups unjustly and falsely blame minorities and immigrants for their economic woes. Likewise, faced with unresponsive governments and highly volatile markets, religious fundamentalisms begin to intensify ("only a god can save us") that in turn lead to an intensification of the persecution of minorities, women, and GLBT folk and acts of domestic terrorism. It's no mistake that the Civil Rights movement occurred twenty years after the post-War economic boom when the children of war generation were coming of age (economically safe people are people open to sharing wealth and opportunity) and it's no mistake that we began seeing the rise of the Christian right following the assault on labor starting in the 70s.

Listen carefully to all politicians for the vocabulary of neoliberalism, and you will be able to make better sense of what they are saying. The other night Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta were pleading for the super committee not to make any cuts to the Pentagon. They don't give a damn about Americans - listen to them - it's absolutely incredible. At the same time, I'm reading a wonderful book about Bill Clinton's relationship with Russia as his administration incorporated these neoliberal policies into the Russian economy - it's haunting and shows the complete callousness that the proponents of privatization had on the Russian people's lives who were left with absolutely no way to survive after crucial publicly operated industries became the property of rich investors. The tendrils of neoliberal policy extend themselves into every aspect of our political life today. To ignore the ravages of neoliberal policy is to ignore the root cause of almost all of our policies. Do yourself a favor and read David Harvey's Enigma of Capital, Brief History of Neoliberalism, and The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. These are dynamics you need to understand to be politically literate and effective.

sbraney
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